Dufner sizzles, Lingmerth takes early Memorial lead

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 05, 2015 3:27 PM

(Reuters) - American Jason Dufner provided the fireworks, going birdie-eagle-ace, but it was fast-finishing Swede David Lingmerth who seized the early lead in the second round of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Friday.

Lingmerth, who had missed the cut in four of his last five starts on the PGA Tour, has produced superb form at Muirfield Village so far and four birdies in his final seven holes earned him a seven-under-par 65 and top spot on the leaderboard.

Seeking his first victory on the U.S. circuit after twice finishing second, the 27-year-old from Tranas signed off with a three-foot birdie putt at the tricky par-four 18th to post a 12-under total of 132.

That put him a stroke in front of former PGA Championship winner Dufner, who birdied the 14th, eagled the 15th and then holed out with a six-iron at the par-three 16th on the way to a 67.

"Five under through three is probably the best I have ever done," Dufner told reporters about his stunning run from the 14th to the 16th on his outward nine. "I needed to get back.

"I was kind of trending the wrong way. I think I was a couple over (par) at that point. Hit a pretty good shot on 14, great shot at 15, so kind of got the day going.

"(The hole in one was) kind of lucky ... I picked up at least one on the field there so I'm happy with where I'm at."

Dufner, a three-times winner on the PGA Tour, has now recorded four eagles at Muirfield Village this week.

"I've had some stretches where I'm playing some really good golf and some poor golf ... I need to clean up those bad holes," he said.

England's Andy Sullivan fired a 64 to finish at 10 under, one stroke better than defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (71) of Japan and American veteran Jim Furyk (66).

Masters champion and world number two Jordan Spieth, who carded a 68 in the first round,, and five-times Memorial winner Tiger Woods, who battled to an opening 73, were among the day's late starters.

The cut was projected to fall at level-par 144 with former major winners Ben Curtis of the United States, Charl Schwartzel and fellow South African Ernie Els likely to miss out.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)